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June 2014

May 2014

General Motors to pay record $35 million fine for delayed response to ignition recall

Photo: IFCAR General Motors has agreed to pay a record $35 million fine and take part in oversight requirements as a result of findings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's investigation on the Chevrolet Cobalt and the automaker's failure to report a safety defect to the agency in a... Read more →


New York is first state to ban microbeads in cosmetics, personal care products

Microbeads – tiny plastic particles used for their abrasive quality in face scrubs and in some other personal care products such as soaps, deodorant, and toothpaste – are clogging waterways and damaging fish and wildlife. While federal regulators study the problem, alarmed state governments are springing into action. On May... Read more →


Following Vermont’s lead, other states poised to take action on GMO food labeling

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin It’s great news that Vermont’s is the first state in the United States to pass a law that will require food manufacturers to label foods that have been genetically engineered or contain genetically engineered ingredients. The states of Maine and Connecticut have also passed GE labeling... Read more →


Sallie Mae agrees to pay $97 million to settle charges by two federal agencies that it overcharged military students for interest and fees on loans

Student loan giant Sallie Mae and Navient, a former loan servicing unit of Sallie Mae, agreed Tuesday to settlements with two federal agencies for charging members of the military high interest rates and fees. About 60,000 servicemembers will receive compensation under the settlement. The U.S. Department of Justice charged the... Read more →


Public Citizen calls for stronger protection for workers exposed to beryllium

Protections against exposure to the chemical beryllium for workers are far too weak, especially in the construction industry, where an estimated 23,000 construction workers come in contact with beryllium every day while performing open-air blasting. That’s the opinion of Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy organization. It asked for stronger protections... Read more →


Older Americans face mortgage challenges as they age, and federal agency warns of the dangers of mortgage debt in retirement

Baby boomers don’t like to be called seniors, but the fact is that more and more boomers are moving into the age 65 and older category and they’re doing it at a rate of 10,000 a day in America. One of the challenges older Americans face as they age is... Read more →


Merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable harmful because companies provide poor customer service and would gain more power, Consumers Union says

The proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable would be extremely harmful to consumers and the federal government should oppose it. That’s the opinion of Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “Given the poor track record of these two cable and Internet giants and the power they... Read more →


Recall of the Week: 3-in-1 flashlights distributed free by Marlboro cigarettes due to burn and injury hazard

Altria Group Distribution Co. is recalling about 365,000 3-in-1 flashlights that contain a compass and match holder in addition to the flash light. Matches inside the match holder can ignite when they come in contact with the striker pad under the compass cap, posing burn and injury hazards to consumers,... Read more →


Who are our moms, and how much will we spend on them for Mother's Day

Many baby boomer women are moms, so they’ll be celebrating Mother’s Day Sunday either with their children or by contact through Skype or the telephone. Americans have been officially celebrating Mother’s Day since 1914, when Congress designated the second Sunday in May as the special day for moms. Mother’s Day... Read more →